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#Emtern Spotlight: Embracing a Love of Literature

Brittany Adames in park
Brittany Adames ’20

Emerson interns (#emterns) work for amazing organizations and do fascinating things. One in a series of conversations with #emterns, republished from Careerbuzz.

Simon and Schuster has published titles and opened doors for writers for the past 96 years. As of 2016, they were the third-largest publisher in the United States, publishing 2,000 titles a year, and this past summer, Emerson had a student intern there, navigating the world of publishing.

Brittany Adames ’20 was a Writing, Literature and Publishing major with a minor in Marketing Communication, and was slated to graduate in December. She interned with Simon & Schuster from June to August 2020.

How did you find out about this opportunity, and what drew you to it?

I began applying to editorial internships in Spring 2020, while I was spending the semester in Los Angeles. I would search endlessly on job search websites, including LinkedIn, Indeed, and inserting specific keywords on Twitter, until I stumbled upon the Simon and Schuster (S&S) application. As someone who wants to go into the writing industry, I am always looking for opportunities that will broaden my editorial scope. S&S was an ambitious goal of mine; after applying to other big publishing houses the year prior, I trusted my own professional development and strength enough to apply again.

What were some of your responsibilities during your internship?

I worked in the Atria Books imprint and vetted staff projects, focusing on authors like Catherine Hernandez, Koa Beck, and Paula Stone Williams, among others. I also read manuscript submissions in both Spanish and English, and relayed feedback to editors … I drafted flap copy, tip sheets, and blurb request letters. I also researched and compiled competitive title data and authors for blurb requests.

What accomplishment were you most proud of during this internship?

I wrote the blurb for Crosshairs by Catherine Hernandez, which received a lot of praise from both Catherine and the editorial director of the imprint. I know it’s small, and no one will ever know that an intern wrote the back description while sitting at her dilapidated desk, but it’s an accomplishment that I can always carry with me.

What advice do you have for people interested in this internship or opportunities similar to yours?

The thing that is most important is embracing your love for literature and showing your commitment to better the industry. Most places want to see that you’re eager and ready to learn, so be sure to reach out to potential employers and schedule informational interviews. Also, start having a good sense of what you like to read, your favorite books, and what the market looks like. These are all important questions waiting in an employer’s back pocket.

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